Improving Health


Top Reasons to Take a Hike!

Posted by Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT on July 19, 2017

Summer is the perfect time to start exploring local trails. Grab a friend (human or canine) and take a hike! Hiking is not just a fun outdoor activity, it is also a great workout with many health benefits. Here are a few great reasons why you should go hiking this weekend.


Burn more calories

 Hiking not only burns more calories than walking, it could also be a better workout than your usual morning jog. Thirty minutes of hiking burns approximately 270 calories, while 30 minutes of jogging burns 350 calories. But, you are more likely to go on a longer hike than you are to lengthen the time of your run. Hikes can commonly be anywhere from 30 minutes to multiple hours! A 175-pound person who hikes 2 hours can burn 1,000 calories depending on the steepness of the terrain.   


Get a full body workout

 Hiking can be a great full body workout. It naturally exercises the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, abs, and hip muscles. Purposefully pump your arms while hiking to complete the workout. Your body will thank you with some healthy soreness the next day.


Lower your risk of disease

 Hiking is great cardio and weight bearing exercise. It lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. It also increases bone density (or slows bone loss), lowering the risk of osteoporosis.


Improve mood and sleep well

Engaging with the outdoors and getting the blood flowing can improve mood and lower the risk of depression. A mid-day hike (at least six hours before bedtime) can help induce a good night’s sleep. Exercising too close to bedtime can cause insomnia, so it is best to hike in the morning or early afternoon!


Now you know the benefits, so take a hike!

Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT

About The Author

Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT

Mairead is a registered dietitian, media personality, and founder of the popular health and wellness blog "My Healthy Ending." She studied Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, completed her supervised practice at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. Mairead’s philosophy is grounded in the power of whole foods, plant-based nutrition, and an active lifestyle.

Post Topics Fitness, Healthy Lifestyles